Small parks, big plans

Opinion: Editorials

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Because consistency is good, if boring, we'll start this editorial the same way we have all other editorials about Forest Park's pocket parks over 35 years. Why does the village government own and operate these teeny little parcels? Wouldn't it make more sense for the park district to own them? Why does everyone ask this question, but no one ever discusses it?

OK. That said, it is good news that the village's Recreation Board now has, for the first time in forever, a full slate of seven commissioners who seem ready to pay full attention to the pocket parks with their playgrounds or their puppies or their quiet space.

Jordan Kuehn has been on the rec board since 2016 and is now its acting chair. He said the board is actively reviewing each park, its purpose and its equipment with a goal to develop five-year plans for updates and strategies to find funding. The playgrounds, he says, are aging and need upgrades. The board says most playground equipment is 15-25 years old. That's a lot of wear and tear. The dog park on Circle near the Ike needs added access security to change its reputation as "the free dog park," says Kuehn. 

The rec board works closely with Public Works Director John Doss in its planning.

Better days ahead.

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